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Nicaragua courts Russian investment

Laureano Ortega (center left) led the Nicaraguan delegation to Moscow, where they met with Russian counterparts led by deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (center right)

official press photo

Laureano Ortega (center left) led the Nicaraguan delegation to Moscow, where they met with Russian counterparts led by deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (center right)

(posted March 24, 8:20 am) — The Sandinista government’s efforts to rekindle relations with Russia took another step forward this week when a Nicaraguan delegation led by the president’s son traveled to Moscow to smile at Russian officials in an effort to attract aid and investment.

According to a government press release, presidential offspring Laureano Ortega, a former opera singer who now heads most of Nicaragua’s official trade and investment missions abroad, met this weekend with Russian counterparts led by deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who co-chairs the Nicaragua-Russia Mixed Commission. The press release, which offered no specifics, says the commission discussed possible Russian investment in the areas of pharmacology, vehicle and air transportation, training in disaster preparedness, trade, and financing options for Russians who want to invest in Nicaragua.

The Moscow grip-and-grin comes amid escalating Western concerns over Russia’s takeover of Crimea and amid local concern over rumors about Russia’s motives for wanting to build a military base in Nicaragua.

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